I mentioned the other day that after a night of restless sleep at the marriage retreat, we traversed across the street prior to the Saturday session starting, to get a much needed cup of coffee with all the bells and whistles only Starbucks can produce. Not only was it a white chocolate mocha java, but it had whipped cream on it. Yes, I know it was only 9:00 in the morning, but I can do whipped cream anytime day or night.
We’re sitting there drinking our coffee looking through the ‘best of OKC’ issue of our local gazette and there are only a handful of patrons in the place. A man came in who appeared to be homeless. He had unkempt clothes and hair and was an older appearing gentleman, and he sort of shuffled into the place. I wasn’t nervous about him being there, though I was admittedly a bit cautious.
Our current pastorman has done such an incredible job preaching about the church in Acts and how Jesus wants us to love and serve ALL people, that I don’t react with the immediate knee-jerk reaction I would have even 1 year ago. I have seen pastorman show the same love and service to anyone that happens to cross his path no matter where he is or who they are. He always gives them what he can or listens to them and at the very least prays with them.
So with this mindset firmly in place in my mind and heart I see the man attempt to order a cup of coffee. He pulls out all his collection of coins and they roll across the counter, though not too loudly. By this time we were the only patrons in the place.
Have I mentioned that a part of my multi-tasking abilities crosses over into eavesdropping? Okay…I’m an eavesdropper, sometimes at the cost of those around me. I can’t help it. I hear a word or a comment or see a visual image and can’t take my eyes, my ears, every sense…off of it.
I vaguely hear the man ask how much a cup of coffee is and the woman behind the counter just continues to say: “I’m sorry sir, I can’t help you.”
This goes on for just a minute or so and my husband is wondering why I’m not paying full attention to him. I say to my husband: “that man wants a cup of coffee but I don’t think he has the money. Would you please go pay for his coffee?” and of course my husband, who is much farther along than I am with helping and serving others, goes to the employee to notify her he would pay for the man’s coffee.
She then tells the man and my husband: “I’m sorry sir, I can’t help you.”
Clearly the man has been blackballed from Starbucks. My husband returns, the man leaves and security is close behind. Security goes out to the street to shoo the man down the road away from their 6-star hotel and high-end Starbucks.
It made me so angry. Of course, I didn’t think to just go buy another cup and take it to the man. Next time that is what I’ll do. For the time being I’m left feeling a bit sour about my own patronage to Starbucks in general. I’ve actually seen something similar happen at another Starbucks in another area of town and at the time thought little of it.
I can almost understand if the man were panhandling or scaring the patrons, but he had money. He wanted to buy a cup of coffee just like we did just 15 minutes earlier. He was a little less clean, perhaps. He may have even been a bit smelly. But he had cold, hard cash (albeit in coin form), and simply wanted a cup of coffee.
I told my husband what bothers me perhaps MOST is that at any given moment we are only 2 paychecks away from being in this man’s shoes.
I think that was Jesus in Starbucks on Saturday and what makes me saddest is not only the employees reaction and ultimate denial of service, but my own lack of outrage and action to this prejudice.
My prayer is that God would continue to put people HE chooses before me to show me His love crosses over all races, socio-economic classes, religions, cities, etc. My prayer is that God’s love would be what others see when they interact with me. And that they wouldn’t see judgment or caution, only love.
In Other News:
I also got tagged by my friend Grafted Branch for a “book Meme” and you know how I do love books…so while it’s CLOSE to one I’ve done before; it’s not the same exact Meme.
If you could write a novel about any subject, what would it be? (Just the subject–don’t give away your plot idea!)
If I wrote a novel I’m sure it would be some overly-involved story of too many people’s lives. I tend to overdo just about everything, writing included (as if you all didn’t know that, LOL). I also find that as I read books, sometimes I’m left wondering about lack of character development and that’s where the overly-imaginative, under-stimulated brain kicks in.
That said, I’d choose something supernatural and perhaps for young children; i.e. “My Walk With an Angel” or “Jesus Goes to Kindergarten” or something along those lines. I’m much more drawn to nonfiction writing but OH do I appreciate those gifted fiction authors!
Oh and I’m feeling so much better. Thanks to all who prayed and sent “well-wishes”. I’m back, I’m armed for warfare and I’m ready to roll!
Have a Happy Wednesday and remember; Love God, Love Others!